More Parking Choices Coming to a Neighbourhood Near You

We’ve all received those coupons for 2-for-1 deals, on everything from pizza to movie passes. The City is now introducing their own version of the deal for how you choose to use your property.

Current parking regulations require that all single-detached, semi-detached, duplex, row housing and even mobile homes provide two parking spaces on their property. If the property includes a secondary or garage suite, at least one more parking space has to be provided as well. These rules apply no matter who you are – a single senior who doesn’t own a car or a young couple who commutes to work by transit – everyone is  forced to take up space on their property for two parking stalls that – space that could otherwise be used for a garden, a deck, or play area for kids or pets.

The City is proposing to do our own 2-for-1 deal and reduce the minimum parking requirement for all low density residential units from 2 parking spaces to 1. Secondary suites and garage suites will continue to require one space.

This change will bring Edmonton in line with most major cities in Canada. We see this change as important for Edmonton in a number of ways. First, it gives Edmontonians more choice in how they use their property. It can also help reduce the cost of new housing as building garages and parking pads adds to the expense of homes. Most importantly, the change reflects that different households have different parking needs, and that it doesn’t make sense to fit everyone into the same box. And since there are no parking maximums, households are allowed to build two or more parking spaces to suit their need, provided they meet other regulations in the Zoning Bylaw.

An important thing to remember is that these changes won’t happen overnight. Existing parking spaces in your neighbourhood will remain as they are and continue to be used as they are currently being used. The new parking requirements will only come into effect if and when someone builds a home in a new neighbourhood, redevelops their property in an existing neighbourhood, or if a homeowner adds a suite to their existing home. And only if the homeowner wants to take us up on our 2-for-1 deal – the choice is yours!

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